Whether you like it or not, we need to be thinking about next year’s marketing strategy now.
As every business is different, we don’t feel it is useful to give generic advice on creating a strategy for 2019 in a blog, we want to give you the heads up on where we think marketing trends will take us over the coming year so these can be incorporated as considerations in your strategy process.
(If you would like personalised and bespoke advice on your marketing strategy, please feel free to contact us!)
It is not feasible or wise to simply replicate or continue last year’s marketing strategy without a review of it’s performance and consideration for what’s around the curve.
Here are our thoughts on what you need to be thinking about ahead of 2019:
Community – People are putting trust in others they know
We tackled the vast topic of community marketing in our August #MAMAZINE and it sparked a lot of interesting conversations with clients about how this trend is really starting to show itself.
Arguably, this is not just a trend that will become apparent in 2019. It has been years in the making: ad-blocker use is increasing and consumers are increasingly placing their trust in people they know, authentic brands and reviews.
Creating and maintaining an organic system based on the principles of community marketing is crucial. Ads push you to engage with your target audience one-way. Actively acknowledging, interacting and creating space for your community enables a two-way conversation and encourages advocacy, loyalty and authenticity.
Should you abandon ads altogether? No. There is still space, but increased effort is required to ensure they are relevant and valuable to the customer (not just to you!).
Creativity – Not Conformity
Many companies come to us and say they need to create an exclusively digital marketing campaign – after all, that’s where everyone is consuming information, right?
It may not sound overly creative to look back in time, but we have run very successful print campaigns; simply because everyone has gone digital so we saw gaps to do something differently to the masses.
We are not saying that creativity is just resurrecting print marketing tactics and we don’t suggest that you do something creative for the sake of being creative.
All businesses, however, should look to integrate their campaigns and get creative in their communication and distribution tactics, encouraging your audience to engage in ways your competitors may not be considering.
Privacy – riding the GDPR wave
GDPR had everyone worried and created a rush of activity earlier this year: rewriting and distributing new privacy policies, sending opt-in emails, and ensuring their websites were compliant.
This is a long wave that will not subside anytime soon. Maintaining privacy in new campaigns will become paramount. For many businesses, their databases have been crippled by this change as consumers have taken it as an opportunity to reduce the amount of ‘spam’.
Increased creativity will need to come into play as new campaigns and strategies are implemented, ensuring compliance whilst maximising ROI.
Communication – in the ways your customers like
Customer communication preferences have always been important but understanding and engaging with your audience in a way they prefer is becoming non-negotiable.
With technological advances moving faster than we can even recognise, our consumption behaviours are changing. For example, Voice search is tipped to have the majority by 2020.
On the other side of the same token, when we don’t communicate or facilitate communication with our audience in a way that suits them we jeopardise their experience. This could not only lose sales, but threaten customer insights and advocacy to their community.
Authenticity – don’t lose touch in a digital world
Whilst staying ahead and incorporating appropriate digital advances into your marketing strategy is important, it is paramount you don’t lose your business’ authenticity.
A great example of this is automation of marcomms – whilst this may reduce overheads in the long run, not having a personal touch can be detrimental to customer and client relationships in the medium and long term.
People still, and always will, want to work with people.
As we say, every business is different. Contact us for a bespoke consultation on your marketing strategy for 2019.